Riverview High School STRIVE Recipients
Morgan Centeno | The fainting episodes started near the end of Morgan’s junior year. Over a two-month period, she fainted more than 250 times and was diagnosed with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), which causes a rapid increase in heart rate with a decrease in blood pressure, resulting in a loss of consciousness or severe dizziness. The upbeat student, known for always wearing a smile, was deeply immersed in many activities–her job at Publix, helping at home, in school and community leadership and volunteer roles, playing on the volleyball team—all while keeping up with International Baccalaureate classes. POTS changed her life, making it impossible to get out of bed some days. Eventually, doctors found an experimental medicine that dramatically cut the fainting frequency. Morgan went back to work, resumed many of her activities, and kept a 3.6 GPA in honors classes. Others can’t see her daily struggles since POTS is an invisible illness, and it’s made Morgan more mindful not to judge others by appearances. Her goal is to be a dentist and she has been accepted into some of the country’s top dental schools.
Advice to entering freshmen: Don’t stress yourself out by worrying about the little things. Do your part and everything will work out.
Not Pictured: Sophia Zaza
Junior STRIVE Recipients: Lukas Hack
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